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Femme Accroupie de Face (Female Figure Squatting, Frontal View)
Graphite on lined Japan paper
Dimensions: 11 5/8 x 7 7/8" (29.5x19.3 cm)
Conceived and drawn circa 1900
This drawing of a crouching woman exemplifies the drawing technique Rodin learnt at the Petite École, namely drawing on paper without removing his eyes from the subject.
By the 1890s Rodin could afford models to come and pose for him in his studio. However, he rejected capturing them in academic stances of the École; instead he drew them as they moved freely around his studio, or between set poses. In this way, the artist intended to capture the essence of their movements, eliminating all possible ‘filters’ between the action itself and its depiction on paper.
The humorous and aggressive stance of the woman in this drawing is indicative of many of the works on paper produced by Rodin in this period. The artist depicted his models – mostly actresses or dancers – crouching, pointing, standing or lying down in sexually explicit poses, creating an oeuvre of incredible and distinctive character, whose lines and subjects can be compared to Egon Schiele’s work in Vienna.
In this light, it is interesting to compare the present piece with D1791, Femme Nue Accroupie, de Face, la Tête entre les Mains in the Musée Rodin collection. The two subjects are strikingly similar, and the models differ only in their hands positions. Yet, in D1791 Rodin has gone over his initially linear intuition, reworking his freely-drawn lines with graphite in order to shade and develop the depth of the figure. By contrast, the synthetic in the present piece appears is overall more effective and highlights the provocative nature of the subject.
A.Rodin, Femme Nue Accroupie, de Face, la Tête entre les Mains, D1791, 23.6 x 38.2 cm, Musée Rodin
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